Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Distant Voices of Malaya, Still Colonial Lives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



School/Research organisations


Through the example of the Crown film Voices of Malaya (1948), this article examines interrelated postwar shifts in colonial history and British documentary cinema. Produced over three tumultuous years (1945–8) – in Malaya and England, with local film-makers and British documentarians – Voices of Malaya is a hybrid text torn between traditions of British documentary cinema and an emerging instructional, colonial cinema; between an international cinema for overseas audiences and a local cinema used within government campaigns and between an earlier ideal of empire and a rapidly changing, late liberal imperialism. The article challenges the traditional decline and fall narrative of the British documentary movement, as I examine the often overlooked ‘movement overseas’ of film-makers, practices and ideologies into the colonies after the war. In charting the emergence of the Malayan Film Unit, I examine the role of the British documentary movement in the formation of local postcolonial cinemas.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-451
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. One family: the movement of educational film in Britain and its Empire

    Rice, T. W. T., 14 Jan 2020, The Institutionalization of Educational Cinema: North America and Europe in the 1910s and 1920s. Dahlquist, M. & Frykholm, J. (eds.). Indiana University Press, p. 55-79 25 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  2. Films for the colonies: cinema and the preservation of the British Empire

    Rice, T., 3 Sep 2019, Oakland, CA: University of California Press. 343 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  3. Reviewing the reviews: popular film, public opinion and the enduring crisis of colonialism

    Rice, T. W. T., 2019, In: Criticism. 60, 3, p. 425-428

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review

  4. War in peace: the American Legion and the continuing service of film

    Rice, T., Jan 2018, Cinema’s Military Industrial Complex . Wasson, H. & Grieveson, L. (eds.). University of California Press, p. 95-115

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  5. “Damage unwittingly done”: D.W. Griffith and the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan

    Rice, T., 19 Dec 2017, A Companion to D.W. Griffith . Keil, C. (ed.). Wiley-Blackwell, p. 463-485

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Related by journal

  1. Chariots of Fire rerun: locating film’s cultural capital on a contemporary stage

    Rice, T. & Yumibe, J., Jul 2015, In: Journal of British Cinema and Television. 12, 3, p. 321-341

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Changing the World: Sean Graham

    Rice, T., Sandon, E. & Bloom, P., Jul 2013, In: Journal of British Cinema and Television. 10, 3, p. 524-536

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 28895807